Old Lane Mill, Halifax

Just round the corner from the magnificently regenerated Dean Clough Mill complex lies this derelict old relic. The wasteland it overlooks had housed acres of weaving sheds until a year or two before I visited, but was now a muddy field. This meant that the mill was bereft of doors and enabled me to simply walk in and look around.

Built in 1825, Old Lane Mill (also known as Canal Dye Works) was supposedly of fire-proof construction, using an iron frame and stone flags. A fire did occur in 1905, although this was reported to have been in the dyeworks, so could well have been in the adjacent single storey buildings rather than the mill itself.

The mill itself was totally empty although little features like the unusual hipped roof and remains of the beam engine mountings showed why it is listed and considered to be a rare survivor. Not that this was helping its condition - eight years after I visited, it remained a derelict hulk, bricked up to prevent access.

Pictures are included in my Shadows of The North book

Images of England describes it thus:

OLD LANE SE 0826 SE 679-/10/10059 (West side) Old one Mill, or Rawson's Mill GV 11* Worsted mill. 1825-28.

Built for James Ackroyd, and acquired by the Rawson family in 1836.

Hammer dressed stone with ashlar dressings and corrugated asbestos roof 6 storeys plus attic. L-plan.

15 by 5 windows, with projecting 4 window wing to right.

Classical style. South front has to left a tall, segment headed, engine house window, with rusticated ashlar surround. To the right 9 windows on 3 floors, and above 11 windows on 3 further floors.

Projecting office and stair wing to right, with a large loading entrance with rusticated ashlar surround, flanked by single blocked windows, above 4 windows to each of the 5 floors. This wing is topped by a plain pediment with a circular clock face.

East front 5 windows, plus 2 windows. To the left 2 windows to each floor, to the right the 5 window gabled front has a central row of 7 loading doors, with 2 windows on either side, apart from the top floor in the gable which has single flanking windows.

North front has 7 windows either side of the central projecting, canted latrine tower.

Interior: has iron "fire proof' construction. 2 rows of circular iron columns support cast iron beams of parabolic web, parallel flange inverted "T" section design. These support shallow brick arches and stone flagged floors.

The roof has 14 cast iron, arched trusses. Each truss is made up of 4 sections bolted together, and they support cast iron purlins and cast iron common rafters which are racked to support original wooden laths.

The engine house occupies the full width of the mill, at the west end, with panelled reveal to the window and a decorative plaster ceiling. A large semi-circular recess once housed the large flywheel.

This building is listed because it is the oldest and largest surviving example of a multi-storey, steam-powered, iron-framed textile mill in the important textile centre of Halifax, it is probably also the best preserved example for its date in Yorkshire.